How do you choose between the many routes for trekking in the Himalayas? There’s a heady mix of majestic mountains, lush valleys, and frozen lakes and rivers, all steeped in Indian history, and offering unique cuisines.
That’s why this guide to trekking in the Himalayas is perfect for you. We’ve done the work to make the list. All you need is a spirit of adventure and a good pair of shoes. We’ll do the rest.
Trekking in the Himalayas is an enriching and spiritual journey on which you will get to witness India’s stupendous natural beauty as you trek through icy deserts, deciduous forests, climb mighty Himalayan peaks, see melting glaciers and frozen rivers. It is often said that prayer and meditation in a temple or church is when you feel closest to God, but on these top Himalayan treks when you are surrounded with nature’s bounty, you will find that you are closest to God when you are in the mountains.
A heady mix of majestic mountains, just waiting to be explored on treks in North India. All you’ll need is a spirit of adventure and a good pair of shoes and to help you choose we have compiled a list of easy to challenging treks in Himalayas.
Trekking in the Himalayas: Himachal Pradesh
For those looking for postcard-perfect greenery, Himachal Pradesh is a perfect destination. Himachal Pradesh is filled with green valleys, apple and cherry orchards, lush pine forests, sparkling streams and rivulets, and rolling meadows. All the treks in this region stop at beautiful camping locations, and you’ll spend endless hours staring out at the views.
Some of the most popular treks in this region are treks around Manali: Bhrigu Lake, Malana, Parashar Lake, Beaskund, and more. For more adventurous trips, look for snow and ice climbing at Friendship Peak, or sign up for a rock-climbing day near Manali.
Here are some of the most famous treks in Himachal Pradesh.
Pin Parvati Pass trek
The Pin Parvati Pass trek is a challenging 10-day trek that takes you from the verdant forests of the Parvati Valley to the drier, more sparse terrain of the Pin Valley of Spiti. En route, you’ll trek through snow fields and glaciers, camp at the stunning Mantalai Lake, and spend days away from any kind of civilization.
The best time for this adventure trekking expedition in India is July to September, as the region experiences heavy snowfall in the other months.
Rupin Pass trek
The Rupin Pass trek is a high altitude trek that takes you up a steep ascent to Rupin Pass at 15,380 ft. The trail winds through quaint Himalayan villages, towering cliffs, and dense forests and can be quite challenging at times. The highlight of this trek is scaling the Rupin Pass – after a few days of trekking. The best time to visit is May to June and then from September to October.
Hampta Pass and Chandratal Lake trek
This is one of the top Himalayan treks, and rightly so. Hampta Pass lies in the bewitching Lahaul and Spiti district at 14,100 feet. The pass connects two beautiful valleys and the trek is perfect to experience the picturesque valleys of Kullu and Manali before moving into the more arid, desolate landscape of Lahaul. The showstopper, however, is the visit to the turquoise Chandratal Lake.
It is a short, moderate to easy grade trek that combines the thrill of being able to scale a pretty high mountain pass, with the possibility of fit beginners being able to tackle the challenges of the trail.
Beaskund is one of the most beautiful trekking places in North India. This alluring trek takes you along the river bank and offers panoramic views of the Pir Panjal range. The pristine blue-green lake of Beaskund is believed to be the bathing place of Rishi Beas, the famous sage who authored the epic Mahabharata.
It is an easy to moderate grade trek and is suitable for amateurs and people of all age groups. No prior trekking experience is required and it is a short trek in Himalayas that can be done over a weekend.
Trekking in the Himalayas: Ladakh
Ladakh is the magnificently stark, high-altitude desert kingdom in the Indian Himalayas that is known for its dramatic landscape. It is famed for its high passes, brackish water lakes, deep blue skies and a landscape that is larger than life.
The Chadar trek/Zanskar trek or Frozen River trek
Located in the surreal Leh and Ladakh region of the Himalayas, the Chadar trek on the frozen Zanskar river is extremely famous across the world and a top Himalayan trek.
The Zanskar river flows through steep rock gorges that can go up to 2000 feet high. During the summer, the river is a perfect location for rafting, and during the winters it transforms into a sheet of ice. The best time to visit is mid-Jan to Feb and on this moderate to difficult adventure trekking expeditions in india participants walk on a frozen river bed, camp in caves and in tents on the ice and trek past towering waterfalls that are frozen in mid-flow.
Markha Valley trek
The hamlet of Markha seems like a little oasis in the arid terrain of Ladakh, where participants can trek through remote gorges and vast undulating grazing grounds, cross several streams and rivers, and experience Ladakhi culture and way of life. A moderately challenging trek, participants get to climb two very high passes – Gandala la (4800 m) and Kongmaru La (5150 m) offering stunning views from the top. This trek in Himalayas is perfect for fit first timers and seasoned trekkers alike, but the best time to go trekking in Markha is mid-June to mid-October.
Stok Kangri trek
At 20,182 feet, Stok Kangri is the highest mountain in the Stok range of Himalayas, Ladakh, which can be summited without mountaineering experience or technical training. This adventure trekking expedition in India is a great choice for moderately experienced trekkers with some experience with treks over 13000 feet. The glamour of scaling a summit this high in the Indian Himalayas attracts trekkers from around the world. The best season to trek to Stok is mid-July to mid-October.
Trekking in the Himalayas: Uttarakhand
Trekking through Uttarakhand/Uttaranchal is the best way to see the dramatic cliffs and towering peaks of the Himalayas. With the craggy rock faces and snow-capped summits of the Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayas, this region is perfect for anyone looking for high adventure.
Some of the top trek destinations in this region are the Valley of Flowers, Nag Tibba, Brahmatal, Kedarkanta, Har ki Dun, Kuari Pass, Chopta and Chandrashila. If you’re more experienced, choose treks like the Rupin-Supin Pass trek, the Roopkund trek, Pangarchula Peak, Bali Pass.
Roopkund Lake trek
Roopkund Lake is a glacial lake nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 16,500 feet, the lake is completely uninhabited, desolate and is surrounded by snow-clad mountains. The lake offers you a rare chance to see the ancient remains of human skeletons that surround it. It is a moderately challenging trek in Himalayas. The best season to visit is in summer from May to June and then September to October.
This moderate level trek is a top trek in North India and the trail winds along the holy Bhagirathi river up to the river’s source that is known as Goumukh. The source of the river is the Gangotri Glacier. You will be camping at Tapovan, a huge verdant green meadow and you will be treated to a rare sight of eight breathtaking peaks such as Bhagirathi I, II, III, Mt. Shivling, Chaturangi, Meru Parvat, Bhirgupanth and Sudharsan. The best time to visit is April to mid-June and then late August to September.
The Nagtibba trek is a easy one, with some steep sections. It starts at an elevation of 3500 feet and goes up to the top of Nagtibba at 10,000 feet. It is a popular adventure trekking expedition in India as it is open most of the year and is perfect for newbies and participants looking for a short trek in the Himalayas. This trek is fun because it takes you through Himalayan forests, goes over streams, and offers magnificent views of the Himalayas, but all without too much trouble.
Dayara Bugyal trek
Dayara Bugyal is a high altitude meadow at an elevation of 3,408 metres. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful treks in Himalayas, with visitors describing their experience as nothing short of a fairy tale. This easy trek takes you up to a meadow where nomad shepherds bring their flocks to enjoy the sweet grass and the fresh air. You’ll be surrounded by mighty Himalayan peaks, and will camp at some of the most scenic locations, under clear starry skies. The trek is recommended for everyone i.e families with children, nature lovers and adventurers alike.
Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek
The exotic Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand, India is a must-see world heritage site that is located within the Nanda Devi National Park. The Valley of Flowers trek is one of the easier treks in North India, and also one of the most gorgeous. Once a year, for a short window of time, carpets of colourful wild flowers such as orchids, poppies, Cobra Lily Anemone as well as the elusive and rare Blue Poppy, and Brahmakamal bloom here, turning the valley into a misty paradise. July and August are the best times to undertake this trek as the flowers are in full bloom during this time.
Har ki Dun trek
Har ki Dun, which translates to the Valley of Gods, is one of the least explored treks in Himalayas. The terrain is not difficult nor are the gradients steep, but there are long hours of walking each day, making this a moderate level trek that is suitable for fit trekkers. Once you enter the valley, you’ll be stopping at some of the most peaceful campsites. The best time to visit is mid-May to June and then September to October.
Pindari Glacier trek
The Pindari Glacier trek is an easy to moderate trek in the Kumaon Himalayas. Pindari Glacier is one of the most easily accessible glaciers in India and the breathtaking scenery makes it a popular choice for trekking in North India. The best time to visit is April to November.
Chopta Tungnath trek
The beautiful Chopta Chandrashila Tungnath region is a famous trekking place in North India. The Chandrashila mountain peak is a summit of 13,123 feet and is home to Tungnath, the highest Shiva temple in the world. The challenge of climbing to Chandrashila on the Chopta trek is an exciting one for any adventurer, and the 360-degree panorama of the mighty Himalayas is ample reward. The trek is a short, easy trek that takes you up to a spectacular height of over 13,000 feet.
Trekking in the Himalayas: Sikkim
The cleanest and one of the prettiest regions of India, Sikkim boasts of a magnificent landscape. It is home to vast lakes, hot springs, mountain peaks, and many glaciers, making it a perfect destination for trekkers and adventure seekers. Trekking in Sikkim takes you through a diverse range of flora and fauna as well.
Goecha La trek
Nestled amidst varied and vibrant flora and fauna, this Goecha La Pass in Sikkim is the doorway to the astounding Kanchenjunga National Park. This romantic trek through verdant valleys, beautiful orchards and rich forests to Goecha La summit gives you stunning views of Kanchenjunga, the third tallest mountain in the world. The best season to visit is March to June and September to November.
This trek is a mix of treacherous and easy stretches, with spectacular rewards on all days of the trek. It is a thrilling journey for adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. This popular Dzongri trek starts from Yuksom and winds upwards through flourishing verdant valleys, beautiful orchards and rich forests. You can end it at Dzongri or carry onwards to the dizzyingly high pass of Goecha La at 16,000 feet. You’ll get to camp in meadows, soak in the serenity at Lake Samiti, cross beautiful dense rhododendron forests, and see the glory of the snow-clad Kanchenjunga mountain ranges all along.
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